1916-1923 Indian Power Plus Hemmings Motor News

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Indian Power Plus

The engine that changed motorcycling

Feature Article Hemmings Motor News

Motorcycles survived for over 50 by keeping a step ahead of the (chiefly Harley-Davidson) and remaining They could do this George Hendee and Carl recruited some of the best minds of that time who to keep Indian on the cutting of technology well after founders had retired and moved on.

Two of people were Charles and Charles Bayley Johnson, and played a direct role in the of Indian’s Power Plus of motorcycles.

Johnson was one of Indian’s factory and was part of the race team finished first, 2nd, 5th and 6th in the Isle of Man TT in 1911. He was later the designer for many Indian including the Power Plus in Johnson introduced the first engine and transmission mated the bike frame with design first released in the model.

Charles Gustafson was a engineer who had worked for the Reading Company in Pennsylvania. Gustafson the Power Plus engine on the V-twin and his earlier work a side-valve version of a Peugeot that he designed for Reading to the Indian 42-degree side-valve engine, a configuration that is used today on most four-… motorcycles.

All of the World War I motorcycles Indian used the Gustafson side-valve A 1918 overhead-cam, four-valve of the Power Plus was installed in a bike in 1920 and sped to 120 MPH, setting a new speed The engines were equipped Schebler carburetors and Dixie and they produced between 15 and Valves were opened by cams, and helical drive in the 1922 version of the engine the chain-drive primary on the earlier

The Power Plus was eventually out to 74 cubic inches in 1923, the Chief to become the most touring motorcycle of its day.

Indian Power Plus
Indian Power Plus

racers like Cannonball proved the reliability of the Power bikes by setting speed and records. In early 1916, was sent to Australia to test the Plus engine and rode miles in 24 hours.

The most famous speed for the Power Plus did not occur over 40 years after the was discontinued. Sixty-plus-year-old Burt of Christchurch, New Zealand, set just every speed record in New and Australia on his 1920 Scout venturing to the Bonneville Salt in 1962. There, he set the land record for under 1,000cc in 1967 on his modified Scout a 37-inch Power Plus overbored to 58-cubic inches

Munro’s best one-way run was MPH average speed with points along the track he was clocked at over 206 MPH.

The Plus has always done in vintage motorcycle auctions. A Scout with sidecar was bid up to $23,000 but did not hit the reserve asked At the top of recent bidding prices was McQueen’s beautifully restored model, which sold in for $130,000 at the Petersen Museum

This article originally in the May, 2010 issue of Motor News.

Indian Power Plus
Indian Power Plus
Indian Power Plus
Indian Power Plus
Indian Power Plus
Indian Power Plus
Indian Power Plus


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